ROCHESTER, Minn. - Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to think about how and where to properly dispose of your Christmas tree. To prevent the spread of insects and disease, the Minnesota DNR advises against dumping your discarded trees in backyard woods or personal compost site. If your local compost site accepts trees, bring them there.
Trees in Olmsted County can be disposed of at the Olmsted County Compost Site at no charge. Bring your tree any day of the week during daylight hours until the end of March. Make sure to remove all tree stands, ornaments, lights, and plastic before you dump the tree. Don’t leave your trees on the curb or in your backyard. Wreaths and other holiday greenery should go in the trash.
“We offer this site as a location for residents to dispose of their Christmas trees after Christmas. We don't want to see those trees laying in the ditch. We want to make sure we have a proper place," says Anthony Wittmer with the Olmsted County Department of Environmental Resources.
The county disposes of up to 3,000 trees each year.
If you’re not quite ready to take down the tree just yet, the Rochester Fire Department warns you to make sure it doesn’t become a fire hazard in your home. Turn off the tree lights when not in use, keep discarded wrapping paper away from the tree, and keep your tree well-watered.
“They can go up very fast. It's a very quick fire because of the dry needles," explains firefighter Mandee Marx.
RFD also advises against burning your tree on your own in your yard.